Councillor declares interest in turbine proposal

Is this the future for Upper Kinneil?
Is this the future for Upper Kinneil?

A Bo’ness councillor has taken the unusual step of declaring an interest in a planning application and will not take part in any discussion when councillors meet to decide on the proposal.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney has declared an interest in plans for a single 87 metre (285ft) wind turbine planned for the Upper Kinneil area.

The Labour councillor is culture and tourism spokesman on Falkirk Council and also an enthusiastic member and supporter of the Bo’ness-based Friends of Kinneil.

With that background, he took advice from council lawyers and has decided to step aside from the debate.

That decision does, however, allow him to comment on the application which has been lodged by Kinneil Power LLP. Agent for the applicant is Green Cat Renewables.

Under council rules, planning applications should not be commented upon publicly by councillors prior to discussion in committee.

Said Councillor Mahoney: ‘‘I have taken legal advice and will not be taking part in the debate.

‘‘That decision, however, enables me to comment on the application because I am very, very concerned by this proposal.

‘‘Should it go ahead, this wind turbine will be highly visible and highly detrimental to the amenity of Kinneil Estate.

‘‘It will have a massive impact on the location remembering also that the Antonine Wall has world heritage site status.’’

It is understood several key players have lodged objections to the proposal including Bo’ness Community Council and Historic Scotland.

Even neighbouring West Lothian Council has entered the debate in opposition to the plan stating that it will be 
visually intrusive.

Falkirk Council’s planning committee has agreed to a site visit which will take place on Monday, June 8. A final 
decision on the application is expected before the council goes into summer recess at the end of the month.

Picture by Alan Murray shows the approximate location of the projected wind turbine.